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Sidereal's Role in Heaven

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  • Sidereal's Role in Heaven

    Rapid Missives between the offices of Fakharu, Censor of the West and Moai, Goddess of the Sentinel Isles:

    M: Reports of large Wyld incursion approaching from the Western Barrier Reef, please advise.

    F: Retreat to eastern island and weather incoming storm.

    M: Negative, western islands hold divine objects of great importance to holding tenuous peace.

    F: Deploy Kalusa warriors to western fringe and support with blessings.

    M: Insufficient, LARGE incursion.

    F: Will attempt to reroute Realm expedition force to intercept, expected delay 11 days.

    M: Delay unacceptable, Realm presence unacceptable, situation delicate. Requesting Bureau of Destiny assistance.

    F: Request processing, please standby for response.

    F: Request granted, Deploying Fivescore Fellowship.


    Inspired by a quote from the developers and this intro cinematic, what roles do you see the Sidereals play in Heaven? Do you tend to see them more as globe trotting special forces, jumping into an area, stabilizing it through their impressive feats of combat, diplomacy and ingenuity, and then moving on to the next area? Or more like people who are given more free reign and power to do whatever they please, and often sit working on pet projects for long periods of time?

    I ask mostly because I've only ever been in one kind of bad Sidereal game, and in other kinds of games Sidereals tend to just attach to whatever everyone else is doing, so it's hard to get a sense of it.

  • #2
    Apropos of nothing, I expected this to be that lighthouse joke.

    [QUOTE=DrLoveMonkey;n1034941]
    Inspired by a quote from the developers and this intro cinematic, what roles do you see the Sidereals play in Heaven? Do you tend to see them more as globe trotting special forces, jumping into an area, stabilizing it through their impressive feats of combat, diplomacy and ingenuity, and then moving on to the next area? Or more like people who are given more free reign and power to do whatever they please, and often sit working on pet projects for long periods of time?
    [QUOTE]

    The first, I think. So much of the 1E Sid book is about motion and emphasising how big the Sids' jurisdiction is. How to summon gateways to Yu-Shan. How much responsibility they have in all corners of the world. How little mortals grow into their Exaltation and where they go after 'taking the blinkers off'. How even the strongest resplendent destinies won't last forever.
    Even non-Chosen of Journeys are all about change and big-picture thinking. Actually, I can only remember one Sidereal who'd been at his posting for years, that guy at the temple of violets (SotM, I think.)

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    • #3
      I get the impression that, in 3e, Sidereals will be much more like James Bond than in previous editions.


      ....

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      • #4
        I agree that Sidereals are likely to have a much more action-oriented, hands-on approach this time around. I mean, it was there in previous editions, but you kinda had to sift through a lot to get to those bits. The trick is to design them such that you can do cool things with them in Creation that you wouldn't be better off playing a Solar for.

        But regarding Heaven...One of the biggest mistakes, IMO, was shackling the Sids so tightly to the B. of Destiny, then building this really cool Heaven full of interesting gods and groups that they can't be part of. I'm hoping that ceasing to work for the B. of Heaven and joining one of the other Bureaus, or even going full on independent, is a viable option in 3E! Even if it's just the BoD outsourcing, that would be something...

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        • #5
          Even if not for Sidereals, Exigency should smooth over where you want to play a character like a Sidereal... but attached to some other bureau.

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          • #6
            Anyway, DrLoveMonkey, trying to answer the question, and give personal impressions (may be wrong) I do see them more like intelligence officers cum government ministers than special forces or Double O agents.

            So not so much directed in the sense of "We have the intel, so we've planned an operation and a target, so go implement (violently)" a la Bond or The Strike Team (and the vibe I get from your OP example). Instead much of their job is *gathering* intelligence and cultivating assets around a theme which is their responsibility, weighing and assessing the value of their intel, and then personally implementing decisions based on their perceptions of Fate and the goals they've decided. I think they have latitude to choose a job that they are personally interested in, and that tends to work best anyway, but there are only 100 so compromises must be made.

            (Thinking about the amount of comms technology I see they'd use to keep constant contact with superiors, surveillance tech they use, the amount of paper audit they do, and the sheet extent of the bureaucratic chains, I would prefer to avoid anything close to a modern intelligence agency. Think instead somewhere in the neighbourhood of how I would imagine Walsingham's Elizabethan secret service or its Qing Dynasty Chinese equivalent would operate, networks of secret ninja clans working for the Shogun, etc.)

            This all said, I would imagine a lot of what they do with Heaven is relatively open as well - I think the Bureau of Fate is Heaven's long term planning and coordination function as much as (or more than) it is Heaven's military and police intelligence equivalent.

            Mental model is more somewhere between the Realm's Magistrates and All Seeing Eye, than anything like our present day intelligence services or militaries.

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            • #7
              For me, it is pretty much what Ghosthead just said.

              Then also, the Loom of Fate isn't a "world programming machine" but a "event prediction machine," so it isn't really possible to change events through it but to plan changes through it. Then some changes can be done by working with destinies, or sending a message to someone else to make it happen, but a lot of things require a trip into creation to trigger.

              Now, how I think they are trained to work is something I realized while playing Kerbal Space Program. Instead of going full throttle, it is more efficient to use the pull of other planets and moons. So a plan is more "accidentally bumping into someone in city A, then drop a mug at the right moment in the tea house in village B" kind of plans. A long chain of seemingly insignificant events that leads to the desired result. Then of course, at times, something out of fate fucks with all of that, and it is time for some quick thinking and desperate improvisation.

              So, mainly a bunch of "chess masters" that are mainly involved with pulling strings, and spending a lot of time at politics, diplomacy, and general socializing to have access to those strings; but able to get their hands dirty from time to time.

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              • #8
                Yeah I don't really see the Sidereals as being "deployed" so much as they are around and sometimes they turn up in strange times.

                The Sidereals are powerful members of the Bureaucracy of Heaven who exist under a veil of secrecy. They deal with cryptic predictions from not entirely reliable oracles using their own personal brand of unique skills and assets, and do so effectively enough in general that they are respected and feared for their prowess amongst those in the know, though not to the extent that they get to go around bossing people around. They are typically cunning and clever and come at problems for odd angles which makes them very well suited to dealing with such difficult topics as fate. They are adept at operating in Creation and Heaven both, which makes them a useful oddity, and there is a somewhat open secret that there is a conspiracy of them who seem to command a lot of influence over the vagaries of Creation's rule, not that most Gods really care about that tbh.

                In that situation, Moai sends a message to Fakharu letting him know the situation, and before Fakharu even gets on the horn to Yu-Shan, a Sidereal arrives and says "yes this is in accordance with some information we have. I am looking into it, and resolve the situation." The Sidereal is not going to really worry Fakharu physically or in terms of temporal power, but it's still a bit weird and unnerving that they turned up just in time, are already dealing with it, and then usually go and sort out what they are dealing with.

                I don't see the Sidereals as being Heaven's specific problem solvers for certain jobs. More just that they're there and they do stuff at times, which can be quite significant, and if they aren't there other stuff deals with things often enough but that doesn't mean that when the Sidereals turn up and say "don't worry, everything is under control" that the local Divine court probably goes "errr, good well okay" and sighs in relief while also being a bit freaked out by it.

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